Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has unveiled a new policy statement on providing legal services for prospective applicants. The new policy, which is effective immediately, sets out the conditions to prospective applicants intending to provide legal services in or from the QFC, ensuring that these firms have a positive economic impact on Qatar.

Under the new guidance, International law firms may be licensed in the QFC if they meet the following conditions:

  • The firm is ranked by Legal 500, Chambers and Partners, or by a similar reputable ranking acceptable to the QFC Authority;
  • The firm is to conduct most of its operations from Qatar and at least 51% of the QFC Entity’s income can be attributed to activities undertaken by the QFC Entity in Qatar;
  • The firm will have no less than three full-time lawyers on the ground whose individual salaries meet a minimum of QAR15,000 each; and
  • The firm will occupy an office with a minimum of eight square metre per person.

QFC Authority Chief Executive Officer Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said that Qatar’s robust economy and strategic location is not only attracting an increasing number of global companies but also propelling local firms to international markets.

As global actors, these firms require seamless multinational services. With the new designated policy, we ensure that new legal firms licenced with QFC have the capacity and expertise to serve these international clients across geographic boundaries and help meet their global strategy.

The policy also stipulates that while exemptions may be made, subject to the absolute discretion of the QFC Authority, for firms that have a strategically important substantial contract with the government, subcontracts, where the government is not a party, will not be exempted.

The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally-sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation treaty network with over 80 countries, a legal environment based on English common law and the right to trade in any currency.

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